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News posted on Tuesday 28th May, 2024

Young NZ learners to go on a journey supporting NZ Paralympic Team in Paris

A nighttime stadium scene with a light show and a crowd waving flags, featuring an illuminated Eiffel Tower in the background. The event appears to be a large-scale performance or ceremony.

With 3 months to go until the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is excited to launch its new education resource leading into the Paris 2024 Paralympics, that will take young learners on a journey with the New Zealand Paralympic Team through the City of Light.

The Paris resource, available to all primary schools throughout New Zealand, is part of Seeing is Believing – The Paralympic Education Programme, in partnership with Toyota New Zealand. The programme aims to change perceptions of disability through the lens of Paralympians, Para athletes and the Paralympic Movement.

The Paris unit is tailored to the New Zealand curriculum and designed to be used in the lead-up to and during the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

Teachers will have access to a range of engaging and easy-to-implement activities through the unit, which focuses on the experiences and culture of the Games host city, Paris, while highlighting aspects of the New Zealand Paralympic Team.

Learners will be able to follow the interactive story of Violet and Charlie, two NZ Paralympic Team supporters, who will take learners on a journey of culture through the lens of disability and accessibility.

This unit is designed to accompany the existing ‘I’mPOSSIBLE’ resources and lesson plans. PNZ has taken the ‘I’mPOSSIBLE’ education resource of the global Paralympic Movement and fine-tuned it to align with the New Zealand curriculum.

Part two of the Paris unit will be released a week before the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games on 28 August. It will include details of the NZ Paralympic Team, as well as fun activities for schools to engage in during the Games – like the NZ Paralympic Team’s medal tally.

Kasey Wilson, PNZ Education Lead, says: “The purpose of the Paris specific resource is to create a connection for learners in classrooms to our NZ Paralympic Team, and what they will experience when they go to the Paralympic Games. In particular the resource builds understanding and awareness of travelling with a disability, including accessibility needs. A fun challenge that learners will experience is comparing their local communities to Paris, a city in another part of the world.”

“It’s a nice combination of celebrating the Parisian culture – language, attractions and food – that our Paralympians will hear, see and taste, and linking back to our own New Zealand culture. Students will get to compare how tall the Eiffel Tower is to Auckland’s Sky Tower, or how accessible Paris is compared to their own towns and cities in New Zealand.”

Danielle Aitchison, Paralympian #211 – who recently competed at the Para Athletics World Championships in Kobe setting a world record – had input into creating the resource, while she was working with PNZ on an internship.  

“It’s been great to be involved in brainstorming the Paris resource and helping to raise the excitement among Kiwi kids so they can also be part of the Paralympic Games experience. As they follow Violet and Charlie through Paris, they get to experience what the athletes are seeing and feeling, while learning at the same time.”

Aitchison is one of 20 Harvey Norman Para Sport Champions who visit schools to share their stories as Paralympians or Para athletes and in doing so, brings the resources to life.

Toyota New Zealand Assistant Vice President, Susanne Hardy, says Toyota’s commitment to mobility for all is exemplified through the ‘Seeing is Believing’ education programme.

“Supporting ‘Seeing is Believing’ reinforces our shared goals to foster diversity and live by the Paralympic values of inspiration, courage, determination, and equality,” she says.

“This new education resource is a brilliant tool to bring attention to our incredible kiwi para-athletes on their journey to the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games,” she adds.

Visit the ‘Seeing is Believing’ Paralympic Education Programme website here to check out the resources.


About Seeing is Believing – The Paralympic Education Programme, in partnership with Toyota was launched nationwide in 2023.

  • It is open to all primary schools in New Zealand and is tailored to the NZ context and curriculum. 
  • Learners are challenged to take steps towards growing a more inclusive New Zealand, beginning in their own school and community.
  • Teachers have access to a range of engaging, easy-to-implement learning resources ready to explore the Paralympic values, Paralympic Movement, and a variety of Para sports.
  • Seeing is Believing combines Para sport values-based learning with the lived experiences of Paralympians and Para athletes. They inspire participation and inclusion in school environments.
  • Schools have the opportunity to register their interest to have a Harvey Norman Para Sport Champion visit their class/school to share their stories, inspiration and be a part of the schools hands-on learning. 

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